L&P – doing it wrong

I got a press release from L&P’s PR agency today on their upcoming BYC cricket tournament. PR’s easy, it works like this:

  1. Get list of ‘sport blogger’ email addresses. For god’s sake don’t bother reading their site to see if they a) do this kind of thing thing or b) hate you
  2. Send out a mass emailed press release
  3. Bloggers do your job for you and send that shit ‘viral’ on the ‘internet’

Unfortunately, sportreview.net.nz’s policy is that L&P needs to eat a bag of dicks for the way they treated top blokes The Beige Brigade last year. Here’s an excerpt from the email the Ad Agency sent The Brigade when they tried to get behind last year’s tournament:

“We kinda see the Beige Brigade as high profile funny guys where as L&P is always the backseat funny guy, finding humour in little kiwi truths and not really making a fuss. We…don’t feel the fit is quite right for L&P, strategically.”

‘Kinda’. That’s awesome. This is how it’s going to go on my site:

  1. Blogger receives mass emailed press release from L&P (disclosure: blogger already thinks L&P should eat bag of dicks)
  2. Blogger responds with snarky mcsnark snark blog post

L&P has been going to the tired 70s / 80s Kiwiana well for a while now. They used to be good, but the current ads make drinking L&P seem as appealing as feeding my nuts through the electronic whiteboard. Dressing no-marks in headbands and trackies would have a lot more impact if every other hipster on K Road wasn’t dressed like that these days. The campaign’s posters stars aren’t Kiwi lads who love a game of cricket and an L&P to cool off while effortlessly embodying the brand values of being quirky, down to earth, lovable, and a dufus. They’re dicks. Exhibits A through C:

I was going out of my way to get annoyed now. The campaign’s shitty flash-based website is a content-lite shambles, a Trojan horse for lengthy terms and conditions that crashes Firefox, and leaves no Kiwiana stone unturned to flog you sugary water:

Gag me with a jandal – they’re raping buzzy bees here. For crimes against Cricket and New Zealand generally, sportreview.net.nz says no to L&P’s ad campaign, and no to unsolicited press releases. I like to drink L&P with fish and chips as much as the next man, and the BYC tournament itself is a great idea – I’m sure those that play will have a great time – but the patronising and annoying ad campaign, website and PR has to go, team.

ARC surprised as 1996 Olympic mascot fails to pull crowds

SRPA: The Auckland Regional Council was left red-faced when star attraction Izzy, the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games mascot, delivered dismal crowd numbers at Mt Smart stadium on Saturday.

The ARC bought Izzy, a computer animated character with the ability to morph into different forms, to Auckland to play an exhibition football match between the ‘MonstaBurga Izzy All Stars’ and the ‘Boobs on Bikes ARC Stars’. The match finished 0-0.

Headcount was estimated at between nine and ten people, pushing out to thirteen if quadrupeds are included.

ARC spokesperson Simon Flashpen said “Sure, you can nitpick that the players outnumbered the crowd, but Izzy’s zany antics really delighted the dozen or so mammals there.” Flashpen denied the match was a shoddy third rate copy of Mr Blobby’s successful Invercargill visit.

Rejected All Black PR initiatives

Competition to find New Zealand’s ‘Fully Fanatic Family’. First prize – Mum, Dad and the kids take on Ma’a Nonu, Brad Thorne and Greg Sommerville at bullrush during the ONE News Hour. Hosted by Tony Veitch

NZRFU endorsed ‘street gangs’ with official gang signs, black bandannas and spray paint. ‘Don’t kick it, pass it’ tagging competition winners awarded their weight in WeetBix

Fat Freddy’s Drop, Official Band of the All Blacks

Steve Hansen bouncy castle

Beige Brigade banned from BYC

There’s a fascinating email exchange over on the Beige Brigade’s site. The chaps offered to help out with L&P’s Back Yard Cricket (BYC) tournament held in Paeroa (one of the most heavily ‘branded’ towns in the world – those poor, poor people) at the weekend, and got this back from the ad agency:

“We don’t want to position ourselves as hi-tech, as a brand. We’re all about back in the day and would probably prefer to use the an 80s dial phone… It’d be great if you’d like to put a link on your site to ours, we would appreciate that…I guess creatively we do feel that our senses of humours are quite different. We kinda see the Beige Brigade as high profile funny guys where as L&P is always the backseat funny guy, finding humour in little kiwi truths and not really making a fuss. We…don’t feel the fit is quite right for L&P, strategically.”

Woah. While this email probably wasn’t meant to be dragged around the internets, the agency have got this one wrong. I do a little ‘branding’ in the day job, and while it’s fun and challenging with something you believe in and understand, you get into deep water real fast if that’s not the case.

EVERYTHING you’re flogged on the telly, radio or newspaper (yes, probably even the Totalspan robot-dog), is ‘strategically’ ‘branded’. Many, many eyebrow furrows and skinny lattes go into figuring out how that washing up glove will make you feel, what that Flyspray would say if it could talk, and what radio station the Tinea Cream would listen to (George. It’s always George).

This account manager has balked at letting the Brigade play in the tournament, and sent them an email with a few cut n’ pastes from the brand outline. That’s shoddy. The Beige Brigade are organised, ambitious, generous (they wholeheartedly support local spelling bees and the beige penguin), positive and passionate supporters, in a country where bagging Black Caps is a pretty popular past-time.

The BYC campaign has its’ funny moments, but if it’s backed up by pompous, humour-free PR that just doesn’t get it, that’s a big fat FAIL. A little research into what the Brigade were all about would have been a far, far classier move than an email like that. You can bet the men in beige will be around doing good things for cricket in New Zealand long after L&P have finished mining this particular vein of Kiwiana to flog sugary water.